If you’re currently employed, but are eagerly looking to move on to greener pastures, one of the major barriers you face is conducting a job search without alerting your current employer.
Needless to say, if your boss finds out you’re thinking of abandoning your post, it could cause a number of problems. For one thing, if they’re not happy about your decision, they probably aren’t going to provide you with a glowing recommendation. Secondly, they’ll likely be suspicious of any sick or paid time off you take in the near future. And, of course, if you don’t end up finding a new job, there will likely be a dark cloud hanging over your relationship with your current employer.
At any rate, you want to do whatever you can to ensure your boss doesn’t find out you’re looking for a new job – at least until you’ve secured a position elsewhere.
Of course, the question is:
How, exactly, do you do this?
4 Ways to Discreetly Look For A New Job
1. Be Covert
This probably sounds a bit obvious, but if you don’t want your boss to know you’re looking for a new job, you absolutely do not want to make your job search public in any way.
While telling your boss is, of course, out of the question, you also want to take care not to tell anyone else within your organization, either. While you probably have a number of good friends you feel like you can trust, you don’t want to take the chance that these individuals might unintentionally let this information slip to others. Even if they don’t tell your boss directly, this info could easily be picked up by another individual – perhaps someone who would be more than happy to have your job.
Additionally, you don’t want to post any hints that you’re looking for a new job on social media, either. No matter how private your profiles are, there’s always a pretty good chance that you’ve overlooked someone on your various lists that could end up bringing this information back to your employer.
Simply put: Keep your job hunt to yourself. Period.
2. Use Your Own Time
In the last section, we mentioned that you don’t want to raise suspicion by taking more time off than usual when searching for a new job.
First of all, taking sick time to do so most likely goes against your contract. If you’re going to take time off to look for a new job, it’s imperative that you only use your personal days to do so. Still, you want to tread carefully, here.
Also, we’d suggest against using your lunch or break time to further your job search, as well. Technically, you’re still on company time, so it’s simply not a good idea to be actively looking for other gainful employment during these periods.
While it may be a bit straining to use your free time after work to further your job hunt, know that the extra effort will almost certainly pay off in the long run.
3. Use Other References
Since you don’t exactly want to notify your boss that you’re looking for a new job, you aren’t going to be able to use them as an upfront reference.
And, since you’re keeping a tight lid on your job search altogether, you also don’t want to approach your current colleagues to request a recommendation, either.
So, your best bet is to look to your past employers and colleagues for letters of recommendation. If you’ve received such recommendations in the past, they’ll almost certainly be more than happy to help you out again.
If your prospective employer absolutely needs to receive a letter of recommendation from your current employer, explain to them that you can do so at the point of offer. That way, you can all but confirm your new position before you’ll need to approach your current employer and risk letting the cat out of the bag.
4. Give Proper Notice
Once you’ve secured a new position, you don’t want to just cut and run from your current organization.
For one thing, you don’t want to burn bridges. Not only will this mean you’ll have lost potential references in the future, but there’s always a chance that things won’t work out in your new position.
You should give, at the very least, two weeks notice to your soon-to-be-former employer. That way, they’ll have time to prepare for your absence, and begin the hiring process on their end. Additionally, they’ll likely have you use those last two weeks to tie up any loose ends and help the company transition.
Finally, one of the most important reasons for giving notice is that not doing so won’t look good in the eyes of your new boss. Basically, if you up and quit your current job right away, your new employer will assume you’ll do the same once you find a better opportunity in the future. Needless to say, you don’t want to start off your new relationship on the wrong foot.
While you may be champing at the bit to start your new job, it’s vital that you do the right thing and wrap up your tenure at your former organization before moving on to better things.
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